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Supreme Court halts Obama administration’s carbon emissions plan

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday delivered a major blow to President Barack Obama by blocking federal regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, the centerpiece of his administration’s strategy to combat climate change.

On a 5-4 vote, the court granted a request made by 27 states and various companies and business groups to block the administration’s Clean Power Plan. The move means the regulations will not be in effect while litigation continues over their legality.

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The brief order from the justices said that the regulations would be on hold until the legal challenge is completed. The court’s five conservatives all voted to block the rule. The order noted that the four liberals would have denied the application.

A U.S. appeals court in Washington had turned away a similar request on Jan. 21.

The states, led by coal producer West Virginia and oil producer Texas, and several major business groups in October launched the legal challenges seeking to block the Obama administration’s plan.

More than a dozen other states and the National League of Cities, which represents more than 19,000 U.S. cities, filed court papers backing the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule.

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The appeals court still must hear oral arguments on June 2 and decide whether the regulations are lawful.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)


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Trump announces toughest sanctions ‘ever’ on Iran

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President Donald Trump on Friday announced new sanctions on Iran's central bank, calling the measures the toughest ever imposed on another country by the United States.

"We have just sanctioned the Iranian national bank," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

"These are the highest sanctions ever imposed on a country," he said.

The Trump administration has vowed a response after US officials blamed Iran for weekend blasts on Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which caused a sharp hike in global crude prices.

The United States already maintains sweeping sanctions on Iran including on its central bank, with anyone who deals with it subject to prosecution.

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Trump uncorks bizarre rant on ‘clean coal’ in Oval Office: ‘When you talk minerals, it’s about digging’

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President Donald Trump on Friday uncorked a strange and nonsensical rant about the virtues of so-called "clean coal" during an Oval Office conversation with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

When asked about the importance of Australia's mineral industry, the president praised the country for doing so much to extract resources in what he described in an environmentally friendly way.

"Coal, as an example, you're the leader of safety in coal digging and we've actually studied it," the president said. "We're doing a lot of coal. You have very little -- you have almost no -- used to have a thing, black lung disease, and in Australia you almost don't have it anymore, you've got all of the dust down."

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The View explodes in confusion after Meghan McCain makes Trump’s Ukraine debacle all about herself

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Meghan McCain managed to place herself at the center of a debate about a whistleblower complaint filed against President Donald Trump.

"The View" grappled with reports that Trump dangled U.S. military aid to Ukraine in exchange for damaging information against Joe Biden, and co-host Abby Huntsman agreed that was an impeachable offense -- but expressed doubts about the accuracy.

"This is a blown-up story and we have no facts, there's no gray area," Huntsman said. "It's black and white, and that would give Trump all the more ammunition if this isn't even true to say, this is what the media does."

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